From Caleb Davis
Boston Septr. 10th. 1777
I ask pardon for giveing you this Trouble, Amidst your More Important Concerns, but being requested to forward the Inclosed,1 I beg Leave to Recomend the Person from whoom it Comes as Suitable, for a 1t. or 2d. Leiut. on Board one of the Continental Frigates, and Should you procure Such an appointment for him I doubt, Not, he will do Honour to himself, and his Country. I Presume you have a Personal Knowledge of Mr. Cunningham, and therefore Need Say Nothing of his good Sense Spirit and Attachment, to the Cause of Amirica, and as a Seaman I belive him Inferiour to Very few on the Continent. Had thare bin any Vacansies, in the Little Navy of this State, Better than that of a Master,2 Mr. Cunningham Doubtless would have had it. But Rather than, be Idle he hes Accepted that Berth for a Short Cruize, which I think Much Below his Merit. I have the Honour to be with the gratest Respect your Honours Most Obedt. Humbl. Servant
RC (Adams Papers); docketed: “Caleb Davis Sept 13th, 1777.”
1. A letter from Peter Cunningham, son of Elizabeth Cunningham, sister of JA’s mother. He sought JA’s influence in getting him a position. His letter is in Adams Family Correspondence description begins Adams Family Correspondence, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1963-. description ends , 2:341–342.
2. A ship’s officer next in rank below a lieutenant who was responsible for navigation (OED description begins The Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford, 1933; 12 vols. and supplement. description ends ).